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Contents and Arrangement | A Finding Aid to the Robert Wiegand papers and video art, 1953-1994

Robert Wiegand papers and video art, 1953-1994

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged as seven series.

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Series 1: Biographical Material, 1953-1994
1.5 linear feet

Series contains records related to Robert Wiegand's life and career. These include various resumes written for teaching, video production and the arts world. School records include report cards, a diploma from SUNY's College of Buffalo, received in 1957, and Wiegand's school yearbooks from 1952-57. Handwritten and typed bibliographic lists of sources that mention Wiegand are also found. Of note are guest registries from early Phoenix Gallery one-man shows and Wiegand's Soho live/work artist permit from 1976. Fifteen VHS videocassettes and two 8mm videocassettes document personal events such as Wiegand and Lynn Braswell's 1991 wedding and Wiegand's funeral and memorial service in 1994. Also among these recordings are interviews with Wiegand about his work and various home movies.

Series 2: Correspondence and Letters, 1962-1990
0.2 linear feet

Correspondence is comprised primarily of letters written by Wiegand, and a handful of letters received. Outgoing letters are found in the form of floppy disks and paper records assumed to correspond to the contents of floppy disks.
Outgoing letters primarily concern job hunting and other personal financial matters, but other types of documents are scattered throughout the series such as television series pitches, lecture notes on artist talks, scripts for video works, draft resumes and bios, and cover letters for job applications. One folder contains correspondence written by Wiegand to his son's teachers.
Letters received include sixteen original letters containing feedback and inquiries about artworks. Letters are from James McLeon, Vivian Browne, Susan Larson, Burt Chernow, and Alexandra Rose, among others. Additional correspondence can be found in the project files. Personal cards consist of a handful of commercially produced greeting cards received by Wiegand. One postcard is from 1962, while the remaining are greeting cards that date to the early 1990s.

Series 3: Art Project Files, 1968-1992
1 linear foot

Series contains documentation of projects Robert Wiegand co-founded or co-produced. Each project contains a combination of press materials, event flyers, clippings, photographs, correspondence, and several projects also contain video documentation (9 VHS videocassettes and 2 U-Matic), including
Snapshots for an Indian Day
,
Madama Butterfly
, and
ArtistsTalkOnArt
.
Documents include oversized photographs of each of the 10 artists in the inaugural "10 Downtown" exhibition.
City Walls
documentation includes lists of the murals, clippings, business correspondence, and many photographs and slides taken of mural projects. Photographs notably include images of the buildings before the murals were painted, and some finished murals that no longer exist. Documentation of the Experiments in Art and Technology project by Wiegand and Lloyd Kreutzer called
Changes
(subtitled "an Image-Theater Environment") include postcards, publicity, and photographs. India materials include a project proposal, postcards, press clippings, a poster, and video for multiple projects that resulted from the Wiegand's trip to India in 1977, including
Snapshots for an Indian Day
,
Indiamedia
, and
Indiawall
. Video elements are found for
Snapshots
only. Wiegand's "Madama Butterfly" project is represented in this series by a video of the piece he produced for WNYC-TV.
ArtistsTalkOnArt
is documented with committee lists, a grant proposal, and solicitation letters to artists, as well as videos of panels created and hosted by Wiegand, including Leonard Horowitz, Amy Ernst, Pat Passlof, Burt Hasen, and Philip Pavia. Also found are flyers, postcards, and videos documenting a benefit for the organization in 1989, with performers Carolee Schneemann, Laura Foreman, and Matthew Courtney among others. Additionally, a performance compilation video from 1990 features artists Akiva, Kevin Carter, Vernta Nemec, Dennis Downey, and Marther Weisman.

Series 4: Printed Materials, 1959-1990
0.5 linear feet

This series includes exhibition announcements, flyers for video screenings, scrapbooks, clippings and reviews, magazines, and books that feature Wiegand. A scrapbook compiled by Wiegand for his 5th One Man Show of Paintings in New York at the Phoenix Gallery was dissasembled and contains an artist statement, photographs of paintings, and newspaper clippings from 1957 to 1966. Clippings and reviews include newspaper articles about Wiegand and his work from 1959-1976. Magazine publications featuring Wiegand include
The Art Gallery Magazine
(1971),
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development National Community Arts Program
(1973),
Arts Magazine
(1974), and
Novum Gebrauchs Graphik
(1976). Among the books is a 1976 monograph,
Video Art
, in which Wiegand's work comprises an entire chapter.

Series 5: Video Art, circa 1970-1982
1 linear foot

Series contains video artworks created by Wiegand, often in collaboration with Ingrid Wiegand, found on three VHS videocassettes and nine U-matic videocassttes. In addition to video, other records in the series include an essay on video art written by Wiegand and a list of video artworks with descriptions. More writings on artworks can be found in the correspondence folders.
Georges
is a video about Georges Noel and his relationship to video and audio feedback.
Julie
is a video dance work featuring dancer Julie Finch, two cameras, and a switcher. Tom Lillard stars in
Moran
, where both the acting and the video dissolve together while performing a segment of Samuel Beckett's novel,
Molloy
.
Omar is El Uno
features five audio tracks that are expressive of the layered construction of soundtracks for video.
Nat
explores the single room occupancy hotel of a resident at the end of his life. In
Walking (interstices)
, Ingrid Wiegand layers three realities of daily life with her camera. And
Face-Off
features both Robert and Ingrid Wiegand in a two-channel work which seeks to simultaneously explain video signals and the nature of relationships. Lastly,
How to Tell An Artist
provides Dr. Sheldon Cholst with a platform for expressing his views on the subject from the perspective of a Psychiatrist.
Chameleon Compilation
is a clip reel including most of these works that was shown at the Chameleon Club in NYC in 1988.

Series 6: Photographs, 1953-1994
1 linear foot

This series contains photographs and slides of Robert Wiegand and his work. The photographs include portraits, family photos, artworks, and images of Wiegand's studio at the time of his death in 1994. The slides are mainly of artworks and were accessioned in binders labeled as Master Slides and Duplicate Slides, which were disassembled. Note that the binder labeled duplicates contained unique images in addition to duplicates from the binder labeled master slides. Actual duplicate slides are filed under the heading "duplicate slides of artworks," and the unique slides found in this binder were separated during processing and filed by subject. These include slides of the 1976 "Bicentennial Banners" exhibition, later artworks, slides of "The Buffalo Statement", and slides of works by other artists that were used for teaching.

Series 7: Other Video Recordings, circa 1975-1989
4 linear feet

This series contains video recordings that are neither Wiegand's artworks or personal recordings, but other types of recordings he produced, as well as a few tapes made both others found with his papers. Categories of recordings in the series are industry productions, independent projects, performance documentation, work samples, and works by others.
Industry productions are mainly educational and training videos made for companies such as IBM, Dynalloy Company, DJR Associates, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Also found is a tape made for the New York State Higher Education Opportunity Program called
The Sentence II
. Wiegand's process involved using low quality video equipment to storyboard and write scripts in the pre-production phase, and these tapes are found among the finished projects, along with occasional paper documentation.
Independent projects include unedited footage, excerpts, and finished programs that Wiegand created for small organizations and individuals. Notable projects include
Bob Towbin's B-Day Special
, a home-movie-artwork hybrid video created by Ingrid and Robert for Bob Towbin's 35th birthday,
The Night Before The Night Before Christmas
, a project produced by Wiegand that aired on DCTV, an
Arts Mag
episode produced by Ingrid Wiegand, and clips of Angelique Martin's talk show, edited by Robert Wiegand. Wiegand also shot, edited and produced Pamela Stockwell's reenactment of the Tompkins Square Riot. All the unedited footage of the reenactment, in addition to the finished edited piece, are in this series. The printed materials series contains paper documentation related to a few of these videos.
Performance documentation contains video of performing artists Trisha Brown, Leonard Horowitz, Carolee Schneeman, and Laura Foreman, among others, and four compilation tapes of performances Wiegand shot. Trisha Brown's
Line-Up
performance also includes an interview with her. Eight hours of raw footage of performances at the East Village performance club, ABC No Rio, are also found.
Work samples include compilation clips of Wiegand's works. They were used for teaching and soliciting production work. The first two videos are components of a single work, video and narration, yet neither of them are an edit master. Works by others include two tapes that are tools Wiegand may have used in the creation of his videos, a calibration tape and a sales tape for a video title making tool.
Eyes on the Prize
is an off-air taping of the well-known documentary.

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.